Prestigious health charity awards application process opens

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The application process for the 2014 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) IMPACT Awards opened today for charities that have made outstanding contributions to improving health and wellbeing. Along with the prestigious accolade, winners will receive up to £40,000 in funding, an intensive training programme to develop their leadership skills and the opportunity to join a network of previous winners where they can take part in a range of training and development activities.

This will be the 17th annual GSK IMPACT Awards, GSK’s flagship UK community investment programme, organised in partnership with The King’s Fund, which is seen by the sector as a ‘seal of excellence’.  It also highlights the crucial role charities play in dealing with some of the most difficult health issues, while promoting innovation and good practice across the sector. Research suggests that a quarter of third sector organisations are involved in the provision of health and social care services, while research by The King’s Fund estimates that three million volunteers work across the health and social care system.

A diverse range of organisations have won awards in the past, including charities successfully targeting the mental health needs of young people; organisations helping isolated older people to remain in their homes longer and avoid hospital admissions; groups that support healthy life choices in deprived areas and also some that support people with rare and incurable diseases.

Last year’s overall winner, East Lancashire Women’s Centre, provides community-based mental health interventions for deprived communities. It takes a holistic approach, supporting the mental health and socio-economic needs of women – providing very successful evidence-based mental health services, increasing skills and confidence and enabling women to earn a living.

Katie Pinnock, Director, UK Corporate Contributions at GSK, said:
‘The awards continue to go from strength to strength, supporting charities to improve health and wellbeing across the UK. Recognising best practice, the awards provide winning charities with up to £40,000 in unrestricted funding, helping them deliver sustainable services where they are needed most.   I would encourage any charities doing innovative work to improve outcomes to apply.’

Lisa Weaks, Third Sector Programme Manager at The King’s Fund, said:
‘In their 17th year, the GSK IMPACT Awards continue to highlight the vital role that charities play in our health and social care system. An estimated three million people volunteer in health and social care and the NHS spends more than £3 billion a year on the services of charities. The awards celebrate the unsung heroes working in local communities and responding to local needs, provide them with funding and also give them the training to take their organisations to the next level. It is well worth applying.’

Notes to editors

The application process is open until 20 September 2013 and winners will be notified in early 2014 if they have won.

Please note that spokespeople are available for interview, we can also provide case studies from previous winners and photographs. For further information or interviews, please contact Saskia Kendall at The King’s Fund press office on 020 7307 2603 or by email on

About the GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Awards

The awards are open to charities with an income of between £25,000 and £2 million that are at least three years old. The name ‘IMPACT’ derives from the criteria that winners must have demonstrated in their application submissions: Innovation, Management, Partnership, Achievement, Community Focus and Targeting Need.

This year £340,000 in prize money will be awarded to charities by the GSK IMPACT Awards. There are ten  GSK IMPACT Award winners who win £30,000 each, and ten runners up who receive £3,000 each. An overall winner will be awarded an additional £10,000 at the award ceremony in May 2014 at the Science Museum.

Since its inception in 1997, more than 300 community health care charities have received a GSK IMPACT Award and funding totalling over £5 million. 

Along with the prize money, winners receive leadership training run by The King’s Fund, publicity, high-quality films and national recognition of their innovative work. They also have access to the development network where previous winners learn and support one another.

Notes to editors

The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

Supporting information

  • The NHS spends around £3.4 billion a year on services provided by charities.
  • An estimated 3 million people volunteer in health and social care, playing a vital role in delivering services and becoming an increasingly important part of the care team. For more information please read The King’s Fund volunteering report
  • Research by NCVO found that a quarter of third sector organisations are involved in the provision of adult health and social care services. Small, local charities are often best placed to understand the needs of the UK’s increasingly diverse population. They can often respond more flexibly and innovatively than large public sector providers. (Please see Clark J, Dobbs J, Kane D, Wilding K (2009:. The State and the Voluntary Sector. London: National Council for Voluntary Organisations) 
  • However, recent research from The King’s Fund found that financial pressures are undermining volunteering. Income streams are more uncertain and small charities do not have the diversity of funding that larger charities do.  
  • The development programme with The King’s Fund will help to equip these excellent charities with the skills to maintain and continue their success in the future.